Buzz has been growing about an initial public offering (IPO) for social media monolith Facebook in recent months, with speculation arising that it would go public by April 2012, perhaps even this year.
But Facebook actually won’t go public until late next year, sources knowledgeable about the company tell the Financial Times.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to wait until then to keep his workers focused on developing new products rather than making themselves rich.
|Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
(Getty Images photo)
With recent private share sales valuing Facebook at more than $66.5 billion, its eventual IPO will be one of the world’s largest.
“There’s really no reason to rush a deal,” Lise Buyer, a consultant who advised Google on its 2004 IPO, tells the FT.
“The company doesn’t need the money. It is a little easier to focus when you’re private. There are so many things you don’t have to do until you take public shareholder money. You don’t have to take investor phone calls or show up at investor conferences.”
Google waited six years for an IPO, and that made sense, says Peter Thiel, a prominent Facebook investor. “It culturally orientated people toward long-term value and not quarterly numbers,” he told the FT.
Reuters columnist Rob Cox has another idea for Facebook – buy Yahoo.
“Facebook has the ingredients to make Yahoo succeed, starting with a clear mission,” he writes. “Yahoo has struggled to articulate a vision beyond being the first page people see when they open a browser.”
Facebook ranks among the Web's most popular sites, alongside Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The privately held company is also one of the most closely-watched Web operators by investors to jump onboard a blockbuster initial public offering.
Sources have told Reuters it raked in as much as $800 million of revenue in 2009 and made tens of millions of dollars in profit in 2009.
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